Sat | Jul 20, 2019

Plumbing for a change with Leanne Spence

Published:Monday | July 8, 2019 | 12:25 AM

think of plumbing and a woman doesn’t even begin to enter the corners of your mind. It’s not your typical femme profession. But Leanne Spence is not your typical plumber either.

What started out as a ‘do it yourself’ improvement project for her father’s restaurant turned out to be a defining decision for Spence, who was influenced to look into plumbing for a change.

In 2013, while she was in school, her father, proprietor of The Deck, experienced a leak and eventually discovered that it was underground. After getting it under control, he addressed the issue further by installing innovative plumbing systems. He realised that the bill was reduced by 40 per cent. Seeing that, he wondered if other businesses would be interested.

Spence, doing a business course, capitalised on the scholastic opportunity, building a feasible business portfolio that not only gave her and her group a good grade, but functions as a good business module. She has been the co-founder and director of Instant-Save Conservation Solutions Jamaica Limited for the past five years. She gave Flair a warm welcome at her business home on Haining Road recently. So what is Instant-Save Conservation Solutions? “We’re a water-conservation company. Helping to reduce water, energy, and sewerage costs. So we supply and install high-efficiency plumbing fittings, educate persons about the importance of reducing their water energy and sewerage costs, not just for the environment, but you can save on your water bill. We go in, repair, and replace the infrastructure for retrofit commercial buildings, households, industrial buildings, and then show them that reduction in water consumption,” she explained.

The business has had its fair share of challenges. Once she introduces her business, the first question that is asked is if she is a non-profit organisation.

“Persons don’t see water as a viable business. They only focus on energy. Water is seen as less important than energy, they say.”

This is still the mindset out there, and Spence is here to settle the conservation score. Energy and water, she says, go hand in hand. “We only get a powerful feature when there is a drought, when they realise water isn’t unlimited. With climate change and the unpredictability of the rainfall, everything is getting hotter. Pollution is also happening because the population is growing. That is increasing the demand for water.”

When looking at the big picture, the conversation is always focused around supply. And while it is important to get more water, Spence asks: what about if we could manage what we have more efficiently? Conservation and efficiency is the cheapest way of sourcing water. Small adjustments in your habits, as well as the equipment that is installed can make a huge difference and increase the amount of water that is available. She also made mention of the fact that there’s no industry standard and little policy support. People shy away from conservation tools right away because it either isn’t appreciated as much or the price point is a little higher than conventional support. “I always advise persons to get equipment that uses a certain flow rate or flush rate.”

While she has her entrepreneurial side, Spence comes in handy with fixing and repairing. “I do the lighter faucets and showerhead installations.” But on bigger jobs, like repairing a line, or changing a toilet, she subcontracts plumbers but admitted that she can actually change a toilet.

When she isn’t busy trying to save the world, she can be found spending quality time with family and friends. She enjoys exploring Jamaica and travelling. She is also an active part of Family Life Ministries at Sts Peter and Paul Church.

As for future endeavours, Spence is looking to build a conservation kit. “I’m trying to seek partnership with National Water Commission (NWC) and Water Resource Authority to go into communities and change aerators, go in (and) check in on leaks, showerheads, you would be surprised at the savings you can achieve.”

For more information on how you can play your role on this change towards water conservation and beyond, you can call: 876-754-9030 or 876-630-3360, email: leannes@instantsaveja.com, visit the website: www.instantsaveja.com or follow on Instagram: @instantsaveja Facebook: Water Saving Solutions by Instant-Save Conservation and Twitter: @savewaterja

krysta.anderson@gleanerjm.com